THE INTERACTIVE PHENOMENAL FIELD AND THE LIFE SPACE: A Sketch of an Ecological Concept of Psychotherapy


  • Thomas Fuchs


Based on the phenomenology of the body and ecological psychology, this paper introduces a se- ries of concepts that enable us to overcome the still prevailing idea of an inner psyche and a cor- responding individualistic view of psychopathology. These concepts are the phenomenal field, lived space, intercorporeality, and body memory; they correspond to an embodied, enactive, and ecological view of the mind. On their basis, psychiatric illnesses may be conceived as relational disorders resulting in various restrictions and impairments of the patient’s lived space. The main tasks of psychotherapy, then, are to use the interactive phenomenal field as a means of restructur- ing the patient’s relational patterns and to support his or her capacity to engage in more benefi- cial interactions with others. In this way, phenomenology can valuably contribute to a deeper understanding of the intricate processes of the psychotherapeutic encounter.

Author Biography

Thomas Fuchs

Professor of Philosophy and Psychiatry, Department of General Psychiatry, Heidelberg University, Germany


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Fuchs, T. (2020). THE INTERACTIVE PHENOMENAL FIELD AND THE LIFE SPACE: A Sketch of an Ecological Concept of Psychotherapy. Filosofska Dumka, (4), 76–90. Retrieved from



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